Page 1

summer 2011

onward with North West unionlearn and North West TUC

Learning in the workplace around the North West

Apprenticeships are Union Business 3 ■ Learning In the Workplace around the North West 4 ■ Supporting union learning across the region: 6 ■ Network Forum events for ULRs 6 ■ Using IT for union learning: Unionlearn North West prescribes Tablets for Literacy and Numeracy 8 ■ Get online – And help others to get online 9 ■ You’re never too old to learn! 10 ■ Trade Unionism on Merseyside: 1911 – 2011, 100 Years of Radicalism 11 ■ First UK Bus Short Story Competition 12 ■ Bolton University Celebrating Partnership event 12 ■ Improving Prospects for members facing redundancy 12 ■ Teaching Unions introduce their brainchild: “JULI” 12 ■ Transport ULRs continue to learn to help others 13 ■ National Funds for Union Learning: A vote of confidence in what we do 14 ■ uniolearn publications 15 ■ Diary dates 15 ■ Communication and Contacts 16

| page 2

onward Welcome to the latest edition of Onward, unionlearn’s north west regional magazine for unions and union learning representatives. 2011 has so far been a period of significant change in unionlearn’s personnel and in the challenges we have been set by the coalition government. Unionlearn were delighted to receive a commitment from the Government of a further three year’s funding to support our activities. Most of this funding goes towards the Union Learning Fund and I am pleased to report that nearly all trade unions across the region will be continuing to support learning skills for their members and the community and we in the north west will be working very closely with all colleagues to provide support and advice. The key themes of this year’s union learning fund are:

Dave Eva, unionlearn’s Regional Manager

■■ Engaging Disadvantaged Learners by supporting ULRs, Digital Divide and IAG (supporting Learners) ■■ Tackling Skills Gaps and Shortages by supporting Apprenticeships and working with Sector Skills Councils ■■ Developing High Performing Workplaces including Co-investment in learning and the workplace pledge ■■ Reaching Out to Non-unionised workplaces including work with learning champions and members in non-unionised workplaces Across the North West team we were very sorry to lose three key members of staff who all decided to take voluntary severance. I am sure everyone would like to send their best wishes to Joan Lyall, Ged Bretherton and Peter Bury. You will find details of the new North West team and their roles and key responsibilities in this edition of onward (see back page). Our European Social Fund projects, supporting Older Workers, Apprenticeships and Mental Health are continuing to support a wide range of activity across the region and our skills assessment tool is being developed to offer new literacy and numeracy assessments, and a range of new skills assessment tools. Look out for further details in E-Bulletins coming out over the next few months. We have a very challenging year ahead of us but I am sure with the strength of our union learning representative networks and the commitment of both union and unionlearn project staff we will continue to promote union learning both in the workplace and in the community across the whole of the region.

Dave Eva, unionlearn Regional Manager The front cover shows the ULRs from Sefton MBC at their Learning at Work Day: (left to right) Sue Smith, Jane Evanson-Horan and Amanda MacNally

page 3

Apprenticeships are Union Business

Pictured are successful learner Sue Garner with Lead ULR Marie Reece at the UNISON-led union learning project in Aintree Hospital


are an important part of unionlearn’s work for 2011-14. Apprenticeships are one of the few growth areas for public funding of workforce development now, if not the only growth area. The current government, like the previous government, is committed to expansion of apprenticeships for young people entering employment, and also as a route for older workers to gain vocational qualifications. The government has pledged to create 50,000 new apprenticeships for 16 to 18s and 75,000 for those 19 and over by 2014-15. Clearly in this tough financial climate, where a number of programmes are ending or facing reduced budgets, such as Train to gain and ESOL, apprenticeships are becoming more and more important and increasingly attractive to younger people. Also with the increase in living costs and higher student fees more young people are looking at obtaining qualifications whilst they work, something apprenticeships are ideally placed to do. It is of note that the Coalition Government has recognised that unionlearn and union reps have a key role to play in this. In the Skills Strategy published at the end of 2010 BIS noted that unions have a particular role to play in engaging employers who have not trained apprentices before, and in engaging apprentices from disadvantaged groups. Hence unionlearn receives funding for this and is tasked to work with 25 unions and 300 employers to promote apprenticeships over the next three years. In particular, unionlearn is asked to work on advising and developing high quality apprenticeships, and those which can lead to higher level learning. Unionlearn provide materials for union reps (see publications page) and trains and supports ULRs and all reps to work with apprentices in the workplace (there is a threeday Apprenticeship Awareness and Mentoring course run by TU Education). We also aim to bring apprentices together so they have a collective voice – with a conference planned for apprentices this autumn.

Pledge Your Commitment to Promoting Apprenticeships for All It is vital that apprentices are offered the opportunity to join the union and have the support of ULRs in your workplace. Please sign our pledge to support apprentices if you have not already done so. We will use the pledges to track development of this work over the coming months.




Opening up Opportunities for All Sue Garner is a great example of an older worker being supported by her union and her employer to return to learning and update her qualifications. Sue has just completed a level 2 Apprenticeship in Team Leading at Aintree University NHS Trusts – and is proud of the first academic qualification she has achieved for many decades. Sue works as a domestic supervisor in the NHS but has faced upheaval at work recently as two NHS Trusts

merged onto one large site. Sue and many of her colleagues were encouraged to acquire an up-to-date L2 qualification by Marie Reece, the lead ULR at Aintree who worked with the corporate learning and development team to ensure the most disadvantaged staff were able to access this opportunity, and were supported throughout the learning process to ensure success. The NHS has provided its Trusts with additional funds to support apprenticeships for its staff in its lowest paid bands, in certain work sectors. Two of the ULRs at Aintree NHS Trust attended the TUC’s three-day course in Apprenticeship Mentoring & Awareness and felt well-equipped to offer this support, intervening with the provider and tutors whenever learners were having trouble. Sue Garner is now hoping she will be able to progress onto a Level 3 qualification in customer service. Sue has been given more work responsibilities, now managing 44 domestic staff, since completing her course. Sue says that she has amazed herself by her academic ability – never dreaming at the start of the course that she would be able to write essays and make presentations – but she found she can! Sue believes that she and other domestic staff have shown their commitment to their employer by taking on learning, and it has helped them cope with the organisational changes affecting their work. Despite enormous trepidation at returning to formal learning, Sue summed up her learning experience overall as “we had a ball!�

For further information: Please contact: Laura Robertson-Collins, Senior Union Support Officer E: Info on apprenticeship frameworks and opportunities is available on the NAS website at

| page 4

Learning In the Workplace T

he annual Adult Learning Week this

year ran from 14th May to 20th May, with Learning at Work Day on the 19th May. Many organisations and union branches held events in their workplaces to encourage adults to take up learning opportunities.

In the North West unionlearn provided direct funding of up to £250 per workplace for unions to hold events which involved older workers (those over 50 years old!). Over 30 union branches had bids approved and were eligible for this grant, and many other ULRs held events funded by their union and / or their employer. Events included different activities in varied locations throughout the region. Here we feature several of them. If you have a good example of a learning activity which has led to learners being engaged with learning then please let us know – we are always looking for case studies. Michael Clarke signing to Liverpool Council’s book exchange which was created by ULR Helen Duerden

The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service event at Leigh Fire Station and Technical Centre, 16th May 2011 – The FBU and UNISON organised the LAWD with the employer and the provider, the University of Bolton. All GM Fire staff were invited to attend. The event comprised a certificate presentation for some of the 50 recent successful PTLLS Level 4 students from the service and promotion of the course and the progression route CTLLS Level 5 aimed at enabling fire service employees to be able to pass on their skills more effectively. Many of them are involved in training or have aspirations to do so. For those taking early retirement and voluntary severance from the service, the qualifications may also prove invaluable as first steps to

delivering training in a wide range of external environments. 25 more learners signed-up on the day, and further events were due to take place Tuesday and Thursday at other sites. The University of Bolton received a unionlearn Quality Award in 2010 for a range of learning initiatives offered to unions, including a previous NEBOSH course for the FBU. FBU ULR Paul Smith said: “The first run of the PTLLS course was very popular and the demand for a repeat run and progression onto CTLLS shows that people are keen to learn how to pass on their skills.”

In Knowsley MBC Skills for Life assessments on the PDAs were promoted by lead ULR Margie Hill, pictured above, right.

page 5

around the North West USDAW at McVities, Manchester – Over 300 staff accessed various learning activities and opportunities for stress reduction and health and well-being in the workplace on LAWD on 19th May. Stockport Library, Manufacturing Solutions and Aspirt College all supported the day which ran across 24 hours at the workplace to cover all shift patterns. ULRs offered Skills for Life checks using the unionlearn PDA to test staff, with a laptop as a prize in a draw for all staff who took a SFL assessment. Other learning activities included the history of the factory and setting up a book swap for children’s books.

The Liverpool City Council’s ULRs Debbie Edge, Donna Lomax, Jayne Davies and Helen Duerden are pictured with Cabinet Member for Skills & Employment, Councillor Nick Small & UNISON Officers Calvin Smeda and Babs Hennessy

vocational courses. Jayne Deakin has used this opportunity to take a course in Nail Treatments which she utilised to provide manicures suitable for their manufacturing environment to colleagues on LAWD (pictured left).

McVities has an active learning centre and the union there has engaged with the Collective Learning Fund which has meant members can access Skills Accounts to take non-

Merseyside Local Authorities – ULRs at Knowsley, Sefton and Liverpool City Councils all provided learning at work activities during Adult Learning Week for their staff. Sefton MBC held a day of learning opportunities in Bootle Town Hall which included Zumba sessions and

cake decorating for staff in their lunch hour. In Liverpool a book exchange was created by ULR Helen Duerden, and UNISON provided a birthday cake to celebrate the first anniversary of the signing of the Learning Agreement there at an event where Neighbourhood Team staff from Alt Valley also received their Level 2 literacy certificates.

In front of fire engine with Paul Smith (FBU ULR), Sue Mallinson, Jon Thompson, Lorraine Whitehead (UNISON ULR), Andy Clarke (at rear), Paul Sharples, Steve Sheridan, Mike Lomas, and Janet Valentine from unionlearn.

| page 6

John Warham (right), Work Related Training Manager at South Cheshire College, signing the protocol with unionlearn’s Dave Eva

Supporting union learning across the region: Network Forum events for ULRs On-going support will be offered to ULRs in all work sectors and all affiliate unions. As a key part of this, unionlearn will run regular network events open to all ULRs throughout the region over the next 12 months, held every two months.

The first event of the 2011-12 programme was held at South Cheshire College TU Education Unit in Crewe on Friday 27th May. Attended by around 20 ULRs the network looked at equality and diversity issues, including ESOL provision, at apprenticeships, and at electronic tablets being developed by unionlearn to help with Skills for Life and health and well-being in the workplace (further details on these ‘tablets’ are on page 9). ULRs from various local authorities, government agencies, health trusts, and companies including Bentley Motors, Rolls Royce, and Sellafield were surveyed on ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) needs in their workplaces as the start of a process to collate information on ESOL to look at future provision now there is reduced government funding for this program. The ESOL survey can be accessed on the unionlearn website – please let us know your views. ULRs at the Forum were also asked to sign ‘pledges’ to raise the issue of apprenticeships with their union branch, their employer or both: these pledges will be used to track progress on union involvement in apprenticeship in the various workplaces (see page 3). During the day in South Cheshire College ULRs looked at unionlearn’s Cultural Awareness Toolkit (pictured bottom right) and how this

can be used in the work place. The Toolkit contains a booklet of quizzes and other exercises (with their answers!), as well as cards to play games such as the ‘Time line’ which shows the historical sequence of events around race and diversity issues. In an unusual fit of generosity Regional Manager Dave Eva gave all ULRs at the Network event a free toolkit! Try our diversity quiz opposite. Whilst in Crewe a protocol was signed between South Cheshire College and unionlearn. The photo above shows John Warham, the College’s Work Related Training Manager signing the protocol with unionlearn’s Dave Eva. NEXT NETWORK EVENT July 22nd – Liverpool City Centre (Holiday Inn, Lime Street) – booking is now open for this event – please email The network will include sessions on writing case studies and other material to promote union learning and other items to keep ULRs up to date on developments and resources to help you in your ULR role. Diary Dates for Future Networks: 7th October 2011 – Manchester 2nd December 2011 – Lancashire 3rd February 2012 – Cheshire

page 7

Equality Forum In November 2010 unionlearn set up a regional Equality Forum, open to reps from all unions in the North West. Since last year the Forum has met regularly, and is currently working on generic materials that can be used for union reps to use for diversity and equality training in workplaces of all types. The next meeting of the Forum will be on the 10th August 2011 in the UNITE offices in Salford Quays, Manchester – contact chair of the Forum Joan Lyall to register attendance on All union reps and especially those with responsibility for equality and diversity issues are welcome to attend. TUC Diploma in Equality this brand new Level 3 diploma course will run in the Manchester College from September 2011. The course is suitable for those who have already taken part in union reps courses at Stages 1 and 2, or specific equality courses, or those who have relevant TU experience in the field and have studied at levels 2 and 3. The course runs over three terms and will lead to a 48 credit Diploma. Contact

Test Your Cultural Awareness with our Diversity Quiz A  What proportion of the population is from the ethnic minorities?

working population were

8%, 11% or 20% ?

25%, 30% or 40% ?

aged 45 or over in 2010?

B  What percentage of UK graduates are from ethnic minority backgrounds?

proportion of gay men,

9%, 11% or 14% ?

lesbians and bisexuals

C  What proportion of people with disabilities are wheelchair users?

conceal their sexuality from

5%, 15% or 50% ?

D  What proportion of the

E  In a TUC survey, what

some of the people they work with? 33%, 66% or 75% ?

Answers A–8%; B–14%; C–5%; D–40%; E–75%

If you are interested in purchasing the ‘unionlearn Cultural Awareness toolkit’ to use in your workplace contact Marj Wainwright in the NW unionlearn office on

| page 8

Using IT for union learning: Unionlearn North West prescribes Tablets for Literacy and Numeracy! Unionlearn NW has developed an easy way of doing literacy and numeracy assessments in the workplace.

We have devised a programme that runs on a tablet pc with a touch screen. It looks like a laptop without a lid and is used by touching the screen with your finger. The assessments are robust and clear and produce an assessment record that can tell the learner where they are in relation to the national standard (from Entry level 3, 2 or 1, to Level 2), in either literacy, numeracy or both. We call this tool MOBAT which stands for MOBile Assessment Tool. MOBAT has been extensively trialled and is currently being used in a variety of situations, from people in building sites, classrooms and factories who are facing redundancies, and in the wider community. It is a real improvement

from the previous model of hand held assessments that we trialled, and incorporates all of the recommendations that users suggested then. A recent survey of users found that 100% of people asked, enjoyed using the tablet to do the assessment. For further information If you are interested in using MOBAT, then contact John Halligan, Senior Union Support Officer: E

BBC First Click Campaign Unionlearn are teaming up with the BBC First Click campaign to help encourage the millions of people who currently do not use the internet to understand and enjoy its benefits. This complements Unionlearn’s own major campaign “GO ON – Get online; Get a lifeline!” The purpose of the First Click campaign is to engage with those who are not online and direct them to a freephone advice line – 08000 150 950. We are encouraging all trade union centres to use First Click materials to complement what they’re already doing with myguide and online basics. There’s a wealth of online and offline First Click resources which could help you help learners, and extend and enhance your GO ON – get online activities. To view these, visit firstclick_guides.shtml

Union learner Robert Fagan using the unionlearn Mobile Assessment Tool

Get online! – and help others to get online

page 9

Gordon and Irene Sutcliffe using their new laptop at home


is working to help more people to get online and to access the benefits of being connected to the internet. ‘Digital exclusion’ – not having access to the net – is closely linked with social inequality. The least ‘connected’ communities are those where the levels of deprivation are highest. Having access to the internet can help people in their education, in their careers and with job-hunting, and can help families save £100s a year by buying goods and services on line. 30 million people use the internet every day in the UK, yet almost 10 million have no internet access – so linking those with IT skills to those without is key. Unionlearn are joining up with national and local campaigns to help individuals, communities and workplaces to help ensure people have the skills and the equipment to use the internet. ULRs and workplace learning centres are central in this. Below are some of the promotions you can join in with. Race Online: Unionlearn is working with Race Online 2012 to encourage the 6.2 million trade union members to PASS IT ON to colleagues, families and friends. As well as registering ULRs and other reps as digital champion we are working with employer organisations to get businesses to sign the Race Online pledge, and developing a digital inclusion campaign (GO ON: Get Online; Get a lifeline) which ensures that people are not made redundant or retire from work without IT skills. Register to become a ‘Digital Champion’ We aim to mobilise trade union reps across the country to become digital champions – ULRs and others can register directly at the Digital Champion website digitalchampion.

Irene and Gordon get more than connected Irene and Gordon Sutcliffe (pictured above) decided to learn to use the internet after a UK Online event at Oldham Council last September. As pensioners they had no experience of using computers in their working lives. Lead ULR at the local authority Stephen Hewitt made arrangements for the couple to access the computers in Oldham Council’s union learning centre and set the couple up to access online basics training courses. Subsequently the couple have bought their own computer for home use (which the ULR helped them set up) and they are now using

social media to stay in touch with friends and using the net to pay bills and book holidays. Most recently both the Sutcliffes have taken up a course with Bury College, one of the Learning Centre’s providers, combining Literacy through ICT – and both have passed Literacy Level 1 and the six-week ICT course. Gordon Sutcliffe said: “None of this would have happened if we hadn’t decided to register as an online centre partner or had the facilities and support of Oldham Council to help senior citizens like ourselves become silver surfers.”

Race Online are working with a range of sponsors to support week long digital inclusion campaigns in major cities. Planning is already under way to run events in Leeds and Liverpool in the autumn. Unionlearn regional teams are involved in supporting both these developments. Other cities will be engaged in the next few months.

centres are eligible to apply for online basic grants and training grants:

Get Online Week Starts 31st October until 6th November. Discussions are under way to link this with the GO ON: Give an hour initiative on the 31st October.

Registering your centre To order your free resources and to register to run a beginner’s computer course, please visit connect/campaigns/partner_form.shtml. When a centre registers they will automatically receive: 20 x beginner’s guides 1 x course leader’s guide; 2 x A4 empty belly posters; 2 x A3 empty belly posters; 250 x leaflets (with empty belly on the back to promote dates/ times of courses) 10 x monitor decorations.

UK online will be launching their new GO ON website on the 1st July 2012: Members, friends and family will be able to register for Online Basics. This short free course will help them to search and explore the internet, keep in touch with email and stay safe online. To get started with Online Basics, people have to sign up to the GO ON website. Signing up is really easy. If you have a learning centre why not register to become a UK Online centre? All UK Online

Refurbished Computer Scheme There are 3 offers at present but more companies due to get involved. Current offers can be seen at

Themed resources cover nature, gardening and cookery interests and show users how to access and use related BBC content – centres should contact They can request resources in multiples of 5, 10 or 20 sets for each of the hobbies and interest topics.

| page 10

You’re never too old to learn!

George Powney (71), cleaner at the School, recently received hisa City and Guilds Level 2 NVQ IN Cleaning and Support Services.

Setting a good example

– Two cleaners from Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) have confounded sceptics by getting qualifications at ages 68 and 71. George Powney (71) and Robert Fagan (68), cleaners at the School, recently received their City and Guilds Level 2 NVQ IN Cleaning and Support Services.

Neither previously had any qualifications and were understandably thrilled to receive their certificates. Lead Union Learning Rep (ULR) John McCarthy said: “Both George and Robert are great examples of how it’s never too late to learn! Both of them were really keen to do the course and both deserve all credit for sticking with it and getting their qualifications.” The course covers everything from the technical aspects of cleaning, risk management, communication and customer relations, to carrying out maintenance and minor repairs and handling waste. It is one of a number of courses brokered through the union learning programme run by John and the union team. George has been a cleaner at ESLA and its predecessor, New Heys, for 13 years and Robert, for 7. Both say that as soon as the unionlearn funded programme was set up, they put their names down for some learning opportunities. After attending a ULR briefing and filling in a

Training Needs Analysis, George and Robert enrolled on the City and Guilds course.

Both George and Robert had a very positive experience of the course and are sure that this is only the start of things to come. George and Robert have already signed up for more opportunities that are due to come up this year.

lifelong learning programme set up by the unions at ESLA. He said “I’ve learnt more in the last two years (through the union learning programme) than in the whole of my life!. This is something I’ve never, ever had in my life. I am qualified! I wanted to show everybody my certificate!” The qualification allows Robert to say “I’m proud to tell people I’m a cleaner! It’s a very important job.” When asked to send a message to colleagues about why they should start or carry on, learning, George had this to say: “Education is a big thing in life. If you get education behind you, you have the chance to do whatever you want in life.” Robert meanwhile is keen to get people to overcome barriers and has the final word: “Don’t let age get in the way of your chance to learn. Don’t let age stand in your way. Go for it. Go for it!” For further information

George said “I felt out of this world getting my qualification, it’s an achievement”. Asked how he felt when he was given his certificate he replied, simply “WOW!” His message to colleagues and to the school students of ESLA is simple: “The union’s done a lot for me and the older you get the more you want to know.” Robert was equally enthusiastic about the

John Halligan Senior Union Support Officer: E T 07717531151 John McCarthy Lead ULR, ESLA E T 07746694749

Trade Unionism on Merseyside: 1911 – 2011 100 Years of Radicalism

page 11

July 2011 sees the commencement of a series of events to mark 100 years of radicalism on Merseyside. This encompasses industrial and political radicalism connected to the Labour and Trades Union movement, and radicalism in other spheres – for example, in art and design. General Transport Strike in Liverpool: the defining event of 1911 in terms of the Labour and Trade Union movement was the General Transport Strike involving all sections of the transport industry. Beginning on 14th June with a call for better wages and conditions and for union recognition for the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union, the strike spread from the merchant seamen to other sections of the transport industry – including dockers, railwaymen, tram workers, carters, and to women workers including those at the Mayfield sugar works and the rubber works in Walton. During the summer the strike escalated with police brought in from Birmingham and Leeds. When the local shipping owners announced a dock lockout to start on 14th August, the strike committee chaired by Tom Mann called a total transport strike in Liverpool across land and sea. No goods apart from bread and milk could move in Liverpool without an escort from the 3,000

soldiers now on the streets, who were based on Edge Lane. A rally on St George’s Plateau held on 13th August was supposed to be ‘Red Sunday’, but became known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ as police from other cities baton-charged the 100,000 crowd – and the sporadic violence across the central and north of the city several days led to two men being shot dead by an army escort of prison vans – docker Michael Prendergast and carter John Sutcliffe, on 15th August. Four days later an armed naval cruiser HMS Antrim was sent to the Mersey – the strike was spreading across the country and revolution was feared. The two men killed became martyrs across the sectarian religious divide and concessions were made to the strikers: better union–negotiated pay and conditions led to many strikers returning to work by 25th August. The strike transformed trade unionism on Merseyside: for the first time general trade unions were able to establish themselves on a permanent footing. Many events are taking place throughout the year to commemorate the centenary of the strike and of the radicalism of 1911: On Wednesday 6th July a whole day of political education and celebration of the transport trade unions in Liverpool was held by Merseylearn, in Merseytravel’s head office in Hatton Garden in Liverpool. The day included a bus tour of the strike’s key locations, and this was filmed by a young people’s education project. Talks on the strike were held for union reps and others during the day, including the launch of the NW TUCs pamphlet on the strike, written by Ron Noon, retired Senior Lecturer in History and Sam Davies, Professor of History at Liverpool John Moores University. TUC History Course: Also featured at the Merseytravel event was the UNISON-sponsored

booklet on the strike ‘Rythms that Carry’ written by Ian Morris and Steve Higginson, which focuses on the trans-Atlantic cultural influences on the strike, including Charlie Chaplin’s involvement! The Merseyside TUC Education Centre is now offering a 3-day (or 5-evening) short course on Trade Union history, which includes a look at 1911 and its effect on the movement. A TUC Diploma in Contemporary Trade Unionism also includes modules on union history. For the TUC Centre contact bob.kelly@ ‘Art in Revolution: Liverpool 1911’ An exhibition of photographs and other memorabilia will be held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool’s William Brown Street (across the road from Lime Street train station) and runs from June 24th to September 25th and the gallery is open 10am – 5pm every day. A further commemoration event will be held on 15th August at the Eldonians in Vauxhall Road, L3 to lay wreaths at the graves (one is a communal grave) of the two men who were killed in the strike. The organisers of this commemoration, including the North West TUC are commissioning a plaque as a lasting memorial to John Sutcliffe and Michael Prendergast. If you would like to join this event and lay a wreath please see Liverpool’s new museum at the Pierhead will open on 19th July this year and features a gallery entitled ‘The People’s Republic’ which includes some of the artefacts from the old Labour History Museum which used to be on William Brown Street. Later in the year a ‘Radical Route’ through the museum will also be launched drawing attention to this part of the city’s history. There’s a lot going on in Liverpool to celebrate trade unions and industrial history – come and visit!

| page 12

First UK Bus Short Story Competition Unionlearn’s

Janet Valentine enjoyed the chance to sit and read at work recently when she was asked to judge a short story competition for First Bus employees. The competition is open to all staff employed by First UK Bus (approx 27,000 nationally, 2200 at the Manchester area depots) and was organised by a committee (they are a trade union after all!) of project workers who liaise with the company on prizes and marketing materials. The most important part of the work is carried out by the union learner reps who organise writing workshops and generally engage with and encourage colleagues at depot level to “have a go”. NIACE have previously published the winning stories and the winner and runners-up will be invited to the ULR Conference in October. Janet said: “Judging proved extremely difficult given the range of topics and writing styles and the obvious hard work that had gone into all

the entries.” However, five depot winners and an overall area winner have now been chosen, and as well as winning a range of local prizes, the overall area winner will go forward for national judging later in the year where further prizes may be awarded. The winning local entries were: >>Wigan depot and overall area winner: Out of the Blue – J. Crowley

“Andy, I can hear the bus coming.” “Can’t be... we’re ages from the bus stop.”... The plane’s engines were roaring as they neared, the lead plane twisted and banked first to the left, then the right. Then there was a new sound, piercing and stunning… “rat ta a tat…” Sara gave out a scream, but Andy was transfixed watching the two gladiators dive, swoop, spin and turn…”

>>Manchester: A Strange Attraction – Patrick Gleave >>Oldham: From Where I am Standing – Colin Bishop >>Bolton: Mrs Mc Guinness and the Mysterious Letter – Shirley Vaughan >>Bury: Collective Thinking – Pete Slater All entrants will also receive a small prize for their efforts in entering the competition. Here is an extract from the overall winning story Out of the Blue:

unionlearn’s Janet Valentine, judging the competition

Bolton University Celebrating Partnership event Over 30 delegates attended “Celebrating Partnership” at the University of Bolton on 2 June this year. The University and Unionlearn have been working together since 2004 and have recently had a highly successful joint project through the North West Universities Association focusing on support for those facing redundancy involving everything from non-accredited workshops on future employability and self-employment through to accredited programmes and modules in a range of subjects from levels 4-7. The project contributed to the NWUA winning a Times Higher Education award earlier this year for its Higher Level Skills Partnership work. Delegates heard about a range of success stories at workplaces including at Tameside and Oldham Councils, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, the Forensic Science Service, Mosscare Housing, Bolton PCT and Standards for England. The partners are continuing to work together to promote and deliver flexible, affordable options for those facing change at work including redeployment, redundancy or retirement. For further information Please contact Janet Valentine Unionlearn E: Phil Lawton University of Bolton E:

Partnership with Bury College: unionlearn’s Jeff Lathom collects an award from Heather Starr, the Director of Business Solutions at Bury College for our ‘Commitement to Employer and Union Partnership Developement’ ata acelebration event with the College in June.

Teaching Unions introduce their brainchild, “JULI”! NASUWT, ATL and NUT are working together regionally on a Joint Union Learning Initiative (JULI). Among their activities is a programme of learning events being offered in response to requests from members. The next event is voice care training which will be delivered by a qualified NHS speech therapist. There are three dates planned with each one open and free of charge to members of all three unions. Dates are:

8 November 2011 At NASUWT regional centre, Appley Bridge 9 & 10 November 2011 Venues to be confirmed More events are planned including sessions on behaviour management and supporting pupils with dyslexia. For further information Please contact Neil Muscroft,

page 13

Transport ULRs continue to learn to help others

RMT Learning organised a highly successful Dyslexia Awareness Course in Liverpool in March this year. The course was run by Wirral Metropolitan College and was attended by 21 Union Learning Reps The course was custom-designed for the RMT reps, and aimed to give a greater understanding of dyslexia and how it becomes a barrier to learning. The ULRs were taught about the screening and assessment of dyslexia and how to access support and information. The ULRs were also taught about the Equality Act and disability discrimination. The course focused on how ULRs can ensure that reasonable adjustments could be made

for dyslexia sufferers and how they could negotiate these with employers. Owing to the popularity of this course RMT hope that they will be able to arrange similar future events for their Union Learning Reps. Sarah Gill, Bus Driver and RMT Lead Union Learning Rep from Mansfield said: “I really enjoyed the three-day Dyslexia awareness programme in Liverpool organised by the RMT Learning Team. I never realised

the complexity of the condition and how other unique facets of the condition exist (dyscalculia, dyspraxia) and also how this affects members’ ability to learn both from ability and confidence point of view. I feel with these new skills I can go back into the workplace and be in a position to support members who feel they may have any one of the previously mentioned conditions”. The course was set up by John Dougherty, RMT Learning Project Worker. For further information, please contact: John Dougherty, RMT Learning Project Worker E


� �



Members of Prospect from a wide variety of sectors attended one of a series of regional workshops in Liverpool in March, to support them through career transition and the knowledge that they were to be made redundant.

The CareerPlus workshop, facilitated by an Open University Careers Advisor and Prospect Project Worker Pauline Tee, offered

members the tools and techniques to navigate through a period of career transition. The workshops covered the identification of skills and self- awareness, intelligent job searching and effective networking techniques. The sessions, which covered CV writing and preparation for interviews, were practical, inspiring and supportive for those skilled professionals in sectors which have been affected massively by the Government’s spending cuts and the effects of the recession. With materials and signposting to organisations for further advice and information promoted at the workshops there is a wealth of information to help members

through a difficult time, and on-going support will be provided. Feedback from the delegates was very positive and seen as a real bonus in their union supporting them in a very practical way. CareerPlus workshops have been held across the regions and will continue until early 2012.

For further information If you are a Prospect member contact Pauline Tee, Project Development Worker E:

| page 14

Funding for Union Learning: A vote of confidence in what we do Round 14 and the second

There are

a total of 47 live projects funded in trade unions in 2011 through the Union Learning Fund (ULF). Key themes for ULF projects this year are:

year of round 13 ULF funding

>>Engaging disadvantaged learners

began in April 2011

>>Tackling skills gaps and shortages

thanks to the continued funding from BIS in recognition of the valuable work and achievements of the union learning fund over the past 13 years

>>Developing high performance workplaces >>Reaching out to non unionised workplaces In addition, many of the projects are prioritising apprenticeships and are continuing to deliver on targets such as Skills for Life, informal adult and community learning and the recruitment and development of ULRs. Each project is assigned a member of the ULF team, who support and advise projects on issues such as finance, priorities and achievement of targets. In addition, regional support is available from unionlearn in the North West and Trade Union Education in areas such as provision of training and learning opportunities and updates and briefings for ULRs. Head of Business, Finance and ULF at

unionlearn, Catherine McClennan said: “We secured funding for 2011 primarily due to all the hard work put in by both the unionlearn team and staff working on ULF projects. However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels if we are to continue to be funded over the next two years. We need to build on the achievements of ULF and continue to develop the service we offer to trade unions in addition to projects continuing to deliver.” The prospectus for round 15 of the ULF is expected in September 2011 and will see all projects commencing on the same date in 2012 if further funding is secured For further information If you need to get in touch with the ULF team regarding support of projects and advice, contact: T:0151 236 7678

unionlearn publications page 15

Useful TUC publications Apprenticeships are Union Business: A guide for union negotiators and reps , TUC, revised in 2010 Apprenticeships: A detailed overview for trade union negotiators and reps, TUC 2009

Apprenticeships Toolkit

making g learnin

Your Rights as an Apprentice, TUC 2009 Young workers: a guide for safety representatives, TUC 2006

A resource for union negotiators and reps

For more information about the TUC’s work on Apprenticeships please contact the project team on 020 7467 1273.

This title may also be made available, on request, in accessible electronic formats or in Braille, audiotape and large print, at no extra cost.



Published by Trades Union Congress Congress House London WC1B 3LS Tel 020 7636 4030 Photographs used on the factsheets and this folder are courtesy of the Learning and Skills Council. Design by Rumba Printed by College Hill Press


March 2010

Apprenticeships are Union Business

are viewing onward as an e-bulletin, simply click on the publication you are interested in. Otherwise, contact the regional office for

Toolkit contents

How to use this toolkit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

diary dates

further information or visit the unionlearn website at

The toolkit is a resource for union reps and ULRs who are negotiating with employers on Apprenticeships or who are approaching an employer to discuss the possibility of taking on apprentices. The factsheets provide concise information on a range of topics related to Apprenticeships.

Negotiating and bargaining on Apprenticeships The business case for offering Apprenticeships Apprenticeship frameworks Apprenticeship levels Pay for apprentices Working time and time off to study Equality and diversity Health and safety Mentoring Next steps – how to advertise a vacancy Contacts and further sources of information Case studies booklet

Above is a variety of some of the publications available through unionlearn. If you wish to download any of the publications and you

This toolkit is intended to be used as a reference and information resource for reps. Factsheets can be taken out and given directly to an employer if information on a specific topic is required. Additional toolkits and individual factsheets can be downloaded or ordered from the TUC website. Further information to support the toolkit can be found in other more detailed TUC publications (see the back cover).


Friday 22nd July

28/29/30th Sept 2011

ULR regional network forum

Three-day apprenticeship course at

9.30am — 3.30pm

Merseyside TU Ed centre

Holiday Inn, Lime Street,             


Wed 10th August Equality & Diversity Forum 9.30am — 3.30pm T&G, Salford Quays, Manchester

Friday 7th October ULR regional network forum 9.30am — 3.30pm Salford Quays, Manchester


Wed 16th November

Mon 15th August

unionlearn Regional Conference

NWTUC commemoration of

Aintree Race Course, Merseyside

the victims of the 1911 strike

book early to avoid disappointment!

| page 16

Communication and Contacts Dave Eva North West Regional Manager T 0151 236 5366 E

Tony Saunders Union Development Co‑ordinator T 0151 243 2574 E tsaunders Responsible for Higher Education; Digital Inclusion; Older Workers (50+); Skills For Life and PDAs; UNET; and unionlearn Quality Award

Pete Holland Regional Education Officer T 0151 243 2564 E pholland Responsible for TUC Education centres and all TUC Education courses

John Halligan Senior Union Support Officer T 0151 236 2321 M 07717 531 151 E jhalligan Responsible for ICT; Environment & Sustainability; IAG and Supporting Learners; Mental Health; and Response to Recovery and Recession

Laura Robertson‑Collins Senior Union Support Officer T 0151 236 2321 M 07786 706816 E lrobertsoncollins@ Responsible for Apprenticeships; Marketing & Publicity; ULR Networks; Local Government Skills Awards; and Equality and Diversity

John Inskip Union Support Officer T 0151 236 2321 M 07717 531148 E Helps to lead on UNET; ICT; Equality and Diversity; and ESOL

Keith Pemberton Union Support Officer T 0151 236 2321 M 07769 726159 E kpemberton Helps to lead on Community Engagement; Local Government; Environment and Sustainability; and ULR Networks

Kath Dawson Union Support Officer, Merseyside T 0151 236 2321 M 07717 531154 E kdawson Helps to lead on Learning Agreements; Climbing Frame; Unionlearn Quality Award; and ULR Growth and Support

Janet Valentine Union Support Officer, Manchester T 0161 872 2688 M 07825 684526 E jvalentine

Marj Wainwright Regional Administrative and Finance Officer T 0151 236 5366 E mwainwright

Helps to lead on Older Workers; Higher education; IAG and Supporting Learners; and Marketing and Publicity

Jeff Lathom Union Support Officer T 0161 872 2688 M 07500 041253 E jlath0m Helps to lead on Digital inclusion; Apprenticeships; Mental health; and SFL and PDAs

Visha Chander Administrative Support Officer T 0151236 2321 E vchander Pauline Murray TUC Education Secretary/ Administrator T 0151 243 2565 E pmurray For info on TUC Education courses

Becky Soon TUC Education Admin Assistant T 0151 243 2572 E For info on TUC Education courses

onward - summer 2011  

Learning in the workplace around the North West. Apprenticeships are Union Business, learning In the Workplace around the North West, suppor...

onward - summer 2011  

Learning in the workplace around the North West. Apprenticeships are Union Business, learning In the Workplace around the North West, suppor...